Tag: international

Sponsor a child
Sep 29 2014

“Disability is not inability”

Joseph teaches math to students in classes eight and nine.

Joseph teaches math to students in classes eight and nine.

Joseph, 22, is a sponsored student in Kenya. When he was 2, Joseph’s parents noticed that he wasn’t able to do some of the same things other children his age could. By the time he was 3, he was unable to walk or move around.

His parents took him to a local hospital, where he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that impairs movement and is caused by brain damage during development.

Joseph underwent surgery to help straighten his legs. He also received physical therapy and used crutches for some time. In all, he spent four years in the hospital being treated for his condition.

Joseph was finally able to join primary school at the age of 7. He was one of the best students in the class.

Joseph’s parents found it hard to get by with Joseph’s medical expenses, four children in school and no steady income. Unbound staff in their area learned of the family’s situation, and in 2002 Joseph was sponsored. The support he received from his sponsor meant his parents could continue paying for his education.

Joseph’s schooling, however,  was interrupted in fourth grade when he had to have another surgery.. He spent another year in the hospital, which meant he had to repeat fourth grade. Despite the difficulties, he continued to excel when he returned to school and even managed to score highly on the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education.

With his high scores, Joseph received a scholarship from the Jomo Kenyatta Foundation, which combined with his sponsorship benefits meant his parents could send him to a better secondary school.

The first secondary school Joseph attended wasn’t the best fit. His condition made it difficult for him to write, which made it hard to keep up with the other students. But it was the negative treatment he received from some of his classmates that was the biggest challenge.

Seeing his struggles, Joseph’s parents decided to transfer him to a school that specialized in teaching students with disabilities. Being among others who faced similar challenges boosted Joseph’s self-confidence.

Joseph, from Kenya

Joseph walks around his classroom full of students.

Joseph recently graduated secondary school with good grades, and plans to pursue a degree in business administration from Kenyatta University. While he waits to get into the university, Joseph puts his time to good use.

He volunteers at his old primary school teaching math and Kiswahili, and he helps out at the Unbound office near his home.

When giving advice to younger students, he keeps it simple. “Disability is not inability,” Joseph said. “Work hard and stay focused.”

Donations to Health help provide equipment and therapeutic devices to sponsored friends with disabilities, along with many other health related initiatives.

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Sponsor a youth
Aug 8 2014

Dad makes sacrifice for daughter’s quinceañera

Juan Jose, Esperanza, Salvador (holding Stefani), Margoth and Josefa Antonia outside their home.

Juan Jose, Esperanza, Salvador (holding Stefani), Margoth and Josefa Antonia outside their home.

Victoria had the opportunity to travel to El Salvador in June for Unbound’s first blogger trip. She was overwhelmingly inspired by the sponsored friends and families she met. Here’s one of her stories.

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Unbound Awareness Trips
Jul 30 2014

Celebrating International Friendship Day

Today is International Friendship Day. Unbound is all about fostering friendships that cross borders and span cultures. On awareness trips hosted by Unbound, sponsors can meet their sponsored friends face to face. To celebrate the many friendships formed through sponsorship, we want to share with you photos of sponsors and their sponsored friends.

Meet your sponsored friend on an Unbound Awareness Trip. Check out our trips page for more information.

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Sponsored child in Guatemala
Jun 30 2014

7 things I learned about El Salvador

Sponsored children in Guatemala.

Sponsored children have fun on a swing set at their school playground in El Salvador.

On Unbound’s first blogger trip, our social media coordinator, Victoria Brown, not only met with sponsored families but was also immersed in the Salvadoran culture. Read more to find out some of the things Victoria learned on her visit.

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2014 Unbound blogger trip
May 12 2014

Unbound blogger trip 2014: El Salvador or bust!

2014 blogger trip to El Salvador
Follow us on our first blogger trip to El Salvador!

Beginning June 1, four bloggers and two journalists will be visiting our project in El Salvador to share stories, photos and videos from the field.

You’ll see content from our travelers on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as well as featured stories on their blogs and ours.

Click here to find more about each blogger!

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Unbound Awareness Trips
Apr 30 2014

A family transformed: A sponsor’s awareness trip reflection

Amy and Ben Luebbering stand with their sponsored friend Lucia from India.

Amy and Ben Luebbering stand with their sponsored friend Lucia from India.

Amy Luebbering and her husband, Ben, have been sponsors for six years. They recently got the chance to participate in an Unbound Awareness Trip to India and shared their experience with us.

Our awareness trip to India was the most memorable, amazing time we have ever spent. The beautiful faces of those happy children, their joyful singing and dancing, their eagerness to meet us, to touch us, to have their picture taken with us, all these things filled us with joy.

Though we weren’t “their” sponsors, we represented all sponsors, and they loved us as though we had been writing them letters for years.

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